Skip to main content

2020 NFL Draft

Why 'draft capital' matters as Browns aim for sustainability

Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown laid out Cleveland's strategy last week following a blockbuster trade with the Eagles.

Brown, who described the Browns' decision to deal the No. 2 overall pick to Philadelphia with the NFL Draft set for Thursday night, spoke of the team's commitment to a blueprint that starts with assembling a talented "nucleus of young players."

And that's where the idea of what Brown called "draft capital" comes into play.

In moving down six spots to No. 8, Cleveland received two additional picks (No. 77 and No. 100) this year, a first-round pick next year and a second-round pick in 2018. Cleveland also parted with a conditional 2017 fourth-round pick in the transaction.

With 12 selections this year (a figure tied for most of any team), the Browns are presented with the opportunity to build that core group of talent. The more picks, the more opportunities to add pieces to a roster in need of depth at certain positions, especially at wide receiver and in the defensive secondary.

"We do believe in building through the draft," Brown said, "so whenever we have an opportunity to have very valuable draft capital — not only a lot, but very valuable draft capital in an extra (pick) and an extra (second-round pick) in the next three years — so for the next three years, we're going to have at a minimum of three picks over the first two rounds.

"We like that positioning."

After all, the Browns have been adamant about creating a "sustainable" football team that can compete for years to come. And building through the draft is considered one of the better ways to accomplish that.

"We, as an organization, made a decision how to strengthen our football team and what we felt was best and what was the best direction to travel to get better," coach Hue Jackson said Thursday. "Sashi said it the other day and he probably said it today — we want to have a sustainable football team that has a chance to win, not just a flash in the pan or do this or do that.

"We felt, as an organization, the best thing for us to do was to make the trade," he continued. "I am extremely excited about the trade that was made, and I'm excited about what we have the potential to start doing and building next Thursday."

Browns said the Browns — who currently hold six picks of the first 100 selections —- also wouldn't rule out another trade, though added a move up is unlikely. "It's the same calculus in terms of what someone is willing to offer and the players that could be available to us at that spot," Brown said.

The end goal, Brown said, is to find players who can make their mark.

"I do think what we want to do is find some players at positions that can impact our team. We're not necessarily going to reach for positions. We do understand that we are in a position now to have 12 new faces on our roster this year — which is almost like two draft classes, a number of those high draft picks," he said.

"Our hope would be those guys coming in start right away, but we know we have an increasingly young roster here and some guys that are going to be fighting to keep their positions. We want to bring competition with young, passionate, tough football players that will start to change the culture here."

That's where draft capital and sustainability come into play, and why the trade with the Eagles makes sense for a team ready to build itself up from the ground up.

"As I said, we have a plan. We are going to stick to it," Brown said. "We are confident it will produce results."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content